Last updated on January 14, 2020
The anatomy of the shoe can be understood by looking at its parts. In everything, even in footwear, the little details do matter. Each part has a particular function or purpose that makes up the entire structural framework of a shoe.
This generally refers to the part of the shoe that lies below your foot. The shoe is made of the upper and the sole which is made of different layers.
This pertains to the part of the sole that directly sits beneath your foot. Also called footbed, this provides the right amount of cushioning in important areas of the foot plus also helps absord awful odor and excess mositure. This provides a comfortable and supportive layer which connects the upper layer to the sole of the shoe. Insoles can be washable and replaceable. Check https://mymindinsole.com/mindinsole-review/ website for full review on insoles.
Some shoes have mid-soles which refer to the layer right in between the insole and the outsole. This part is sandwiched in the middle of the upper and the outsole. This provides abundant support, cushioning, and shock absorption.
This is the outer layer of the sole that touches the ground. This is the part of the shoe which is exposed to enormous wear and tear because of constant friction to the ground. It is vital that this part is made of a robust material that can withstand the harsh elements and also maintain enough friction to preven slipping.
There are different types of outsoles depending on your type of footwear. There are outsoles that are built for outdoor adventures such as mountain climbing and hiking which has excellent traction and grip while there are basic outsole construction designs for low-key use.
The outsole is made out of different kinds of materials such as leather, natural rubber, PVC compounds, and polyurethane. The materials would depend on the functionality and style of footwear.
This is an important part of the shoe in tandem with the sole because it usually covers the aesthetics. The upper refers to the part which covers the toes, the sides of your foot, and back of the heel. The upper is connected to the outsole by the welt.
The upper is usually made of materials like satin, canvas, leather, and suede. Uppers for sandals are made of straps while uppers for athletic sneakes are usually made of mesh fabric.
The upper is designed mainly to conform to the shape of the foot and keep it secure when standing or walking.
Different Layers of the Upper
- Quarter – This helps maintain the shape of the sides and back of the shoe. The collar is one part of the quarter wherein the foot is inserted which is padded for appropriate cushioning and ultra comfort.
- Vamp – This is the part of the upper that helps secure your foot inside the shoes. It covers the top panel of your foot and also at the front and center. This is usually made of breathable mesh which allows steady air circulation.
- Eyelets – This would usually be included in the quarter characterizing by lacing which adds up to the style of the shoe. The lacing allows the wearer to properly adjust the fitting of the shoe and also for easy wear and removal.
- Tongue – This is usually found on footwear with lacing feature which could be attached to the vamp or the quarter. It covers the top while the lacing helps to adjust the fitting.
History and Evolution of Shoesmaking
It’s the American Indians who first created shoes which are soft-soled moccassins created from animal hides. Yes, the first shoes were made of organic materials so it has very thin outsoles compared to modern shoes which have thick outsoles.
It was in the Middle Ages that shoes began to evolve with harder or sturdier materials such as jute and leather. In the 1600s, semi-leather shoes were sewn by hand up until the Industrial Revolution.
Shoes were then meticulously made by hand. Every shoe detail matters. The shoemaking process was time-consuming because every detail was hand-stitched but the results were exceptional. Leather is a very durable material which is the main material for making shoes at that time but its stiffness actually makes it very difficult to work by hand. In the next centuries, shoemaking was done with the use of sewing machines. This has revolutionized the shoemaking process and has made advancements in the shoemaking industry.
The Making of Modern Shoes
Modern shoes are usually made of high-quality leather. This is the benchmark of excellent shoemaking or workmanship. The materials would usually be that of leather and rubber or a combination of these two materials that makeup the classic shoe.
Casual shoes would usually have soles made of polyurethane or natural rubber. Fine-dress shoes are made of pure leather but they would add rubber in the heel to provide traction. The materials of the soles would depend on the purpose of the footwear.
For athletic or outdoor shoes, the material would be mostly rubber to provide better grip. This goes the same with cycling shoes and hiking boots which require thick and durable soles for added traction and waterproofing.
It’s frustrating or even intimidating when you encounter industry jargons on shoes and don’t have the slightest idea about it. A good shoe is an investment and you can’t spend money on a product that you don’t understand. You need to know at least the basic information on shoes before you make a purchase. You need not be an expert but you should have an idea of the value of your investment.
Shoes are made part of fashion collections because these are priceless and donned as pure masterpieces by shoe designers. With shoes, the price would usually determine the quality, so you need to know the ins and outs of what you are paying for. Good shoes take you to good place so it’s a worthwhile investment if you have the eye for genuine quality.